Category Archives: Emerging Technology

Week 11 Reflection: Emerging Technology

Week 11 Reflection: Emerging Technology

This week in Emerging Technology we blogged about, “What Specific Policies Will Help Your District Prepare Students For Current and Emerging Technology Use and How Can You Help.”I said that the policies that Anchorage School District has now need to be updated. The district has said that, given the budget situation, it is difficult to plan for expansion of technology. According to ASD’s current technology plan, “the overarching goal is to capitalize on opportunities that focus our use of instructional technology to get the greatest return on investment by consolidating resources, restructuring support models, leveraging emerging technologies whenever possible, and utilizing continuous improvement cycles to evaluate and refine our practices.” (http://www.asdk12.org/media/anchorage/globalmedia/documents/ edtech/ASDTechnologyPlan2014-2017.pdf.)

I thought Alberta’s framework provided an excellent set of policies to follow. I think if we are to update our policies that I would help lead by presenting these policies to our administration. They are only 5 and they are research-based and short and simple.

In reading people’s blogs, I found that we all agreed that Alberta’s framework was a good guideline to follow. Marie made a good point about incorporating culture into lessons. Tristan pointed out that 3 out of 4 students prefer technology. I said I saw this when I took my students to the library. They have all those books and they prefer to use a computer. Many also talked about students using their own technology. I see that coming to our schools soon, and I want to be part of the committee so that “BYOD”is implemented without any snags and goes smoothly.

In our Twitter session, we talked about how media has an impact in our classrooms. Most of us agree that media provides students with a powerful learning tool. Another question we tweeted about was how parents and community play a role in the transformation of the learning culture. We all agree that parents and the community are very important. After all, parents are the kids’ first teacher. These were a few points that stood out for me.

This was our last Tweeter session. I can’t believe how fast this term has gone. It has been an eventful summer of learning, but I am ready for a break, at least for a little while before I start up again.

Week 11 Emerging Technology

Week 11 Emerging Technology: What Specific Policies Will Help Your District Prepare Students for Current and Emerging Technology Use? How Can You Help Lead Your District in Creating These Policies?

I think that the policies ASD has in place right now need to change soon because of emerging technology. Given the budget situation, it is difficult to plan for expansion of technology. According to ASD’s current technology plan, “the overarching goal is to capitalize on opportunities that focus our use of instructional technology to get the greatest return on investment by consolidating resources, restructuring support models, leveraging emerging technologies whenever possible, and utilizing continuous improvement cycles to evaluate and refine our practices.” (http://www.asdk12.org/media/anchorage/globalmedia/documents/ edtech/ASDTechnologyPlan2014-2017.pdf.)

The policy framework from Alberta’s School District has some good policies that we should follow. Five of these policies are:

Student-Centered Learning– Technology is used to support student-centered, personalized, authentic learning for all students.

Research and Innovation– Teachers, administrators, and other education professionals read, review, participate in, share, and apply research to evidence-based practices to sustain and advance in education.

Professional Learning– Teachers, administrators, and other education professionals develop, maintain, and apply the knowledge, skills, and attributes that enable them to use technology effectively and innovatively in support of learning and teaching.

Leadership– Education leaders establish policy and governance structures, cultivate innovation, and build capacity within the system of student-centered learning and system efficiencies.

Access, Infrastructure, and Digital Learning Environment– All students, teachers, administrators, and other education professional have access to appropriate devices, reliable infrastructure, and high-speed networks, and digital learning environments.

(https://education.alberta.ca/media/7792655/learning-and-technology-policy-framework-web.pdf)

In 2013 and 2014, East, Chugiak, and Eagle River high schools and Romig Middle School started a BYOD program. I think a policy is needed for this, as well.  Before, phones and electronics were not allowed in school. Now more and more schools are opening up to this idea. In the article “Tips for Creating Technology Policies For K-12,”Chrissy Winske reported on a conversation  TechDecisions had with Jennifer Jenson, PhD, Professor of Pedagogy and Technology, about an acceptable use policy. Jenson pointed out that you want as many stakeholders as you can gather when creating a policy. Also, if possible, include someone doing research on technology in schools.

I believe that I can help with creating these policies. If I share my knowledge of what I have been learning in class and show administrators some articles and research about emerging technology, then I can help out. Through the classes that I am taking and the information I am learning, it has become clear to me that my district is falling behind when it comes to this subject. I look forward to finding ways I can pass on what I am learning and finding others who see the need for change in our system, so that we can update district policies and offer our students better opportunities when it comes to emerging tech.

Technology is not going away; in fact it is changing faster than it has been in earlier years. As a teacher, I need to understand what is emerging and how I can use that for education.  I think Alberta’s policies, which are based on extensive research, provide a good framework for technology-centered learning. If I share Alberta’s approach, along with some of the research, these may help frame new policies for our district and lead it in the right direction.

References

Anchorage School District. (2014). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.asdk12.org/media/anchorage/globalmedia/documents/edtech/ASDTechnologyPlan2014-2017.pdf).

Learning And Technology Policy Framework. (2013). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from https://education.alberta.ca/media/7792655/learning-and-technology-policy-framework-web.pdf

Winske, C. (2014). Tips for Creating Technology Policies for K-12. Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.k-12techdecisions.com/article/creating_an_acceptable_use_policy_for_mobile_learning_initiatives/P2

Week 10 Reflection: Emerging Technology

Week 10 Reflection: Emerging Technology

This week in class we blogged about “How Are Electronics Viable Additions To Crafting”. To me crafting can be with anything you create and that includes electronics. I learned about some pretty amazing tools that you can use with electronics like shown in the video, “How To Sketch With Electronics.” I was pretty amazed of what they can do. I can see using this in my geography class where kids draw a map and then where they came from “lights up”. I think that would look pretty neat.

In our Twitter session we tweeted about Wearable Technology. Our first question was on chibitronics and how they can be used. I thought that students can drawn maps and use that to light up the places they live. Another person tweeted Christmas cards. It also can create creativity and imagination of things that students can create with it. Many of use agreed that we see benefits of wearable technology and don’t really see cons on it. I thought some great benefits are the technology devices that helps you with your health. I am just amazed of how much wearable technology there is and how they are coming up with new and improved wearable technology.

I can’t believe we are down to our last week of class. I think we have one more blog and twitter session and we are done. It has gone by pretty fast. I am feeling pretty good about my papers and assignments that I have been working on. I still need to work on another assignment for my other class but then I am done. At least until the next classes start which I already signed up for. I guess when you keep yourself busy, days do go by quickly because school is right around the corner.

Week 10 Emerging Technology

Week 10 Emerging Technology: How Are Electronics Viable Additions to “Crafting” For

Today’s Young Person?

Electronics can be used in a variety of ways to craft for young people. “Crafting” means the ability to create something unique. You can create so many different things. The video “Leah Buechley: How to ‘Sketch’ with Electronics” shows some pretty amazing things that students can draw. I can see this being use in any type of class, especially art, geography, language arts, math, and music. The possibilities for what students can create with these electronics are endless. In geography, I can have the students draw a map of the world and then put a dot that lights up of the places they have lived. I think that would be neat to see. There are other possibilities that they can do with this type of technology.

Chibitronics is another great electronic learning tool. I can see using it in art class. Students can draw a painting and have it light up in the places they want it to. This would be a neat project to share at parent conferences. I think the parents would be very impressed by what their children are doing at school.

The flora is wearable and students can create many items from that. They can create a hat, shirt, skirt, add on to their pants, etc. The flora sounds like it is easy to use. It is fabric friendly and beginner friendly. This would be a great project for students to start with. I know it will make it easier for me as well since I never have created one myself. If it is beginner friendly then I think the students and I can create something from it.

So, to me, electronics is a viable addition to crafting. With it, you can create something extraordinary and original. There is nothing that you can’t create. All you need is to use your artistic skills and go to work creating something beautiful and unique that you will truly enjoy.

References

Buechley, L. (2012). “Leah Buechley: How to ’sketch’ with electronics.” Retrieved July 20, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI.

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Interactive Light Painting: Pu Gong Ying Tu (Dandelion Painting). (2015). Retrieved July 20, 2015, from https://vimeo.com/40904471.

Week 9 Reflection: Emerging Technology

Week 9 Reflection: Emerging Technology

This week in our class we read about Does Every School Need A “BYOD” Policy? After reading the materials, I am still unsure about how I feel about this. I see the pros and cons, but I think I am split in the middle right now.

Some of the pros that I read about are that students would be able to take their devices home, since the devices are their own, and they would know how to use them. Some cons I see concern students who can’t afford to get the latest phone, iPad, or computer—many of the parents of these students live on a fixed income and can’t afford to get Internet at home. How beneficial to these students would it be for students to be bringing their own devices in to school? So, I think BYOD depends on the school. A good deal of planning and parent education would have to go into this, because if I am a parent on a fixed income and buy my child a device and Internet and don’t see the benefits of it from school I am going to be upset. So, if this is to happen, we will need buy-in from the parents as well.

Another issue arises from the fact that some parents don’t want their children on the Internet, or they don’t allow them unsupervised access. To these parents, school technology use is supervised and home use is supervised. But BYOB works on the assumption that the child will be carrying around a device and going online away from home and school. There are many factors to consider before a BYOD can happen at a school.

If you can’t get every student’s family behind BYOD, it’s not hard to imagine discrimination issues coming up, as all curriculum is supposed to be made equally available to all students. The last thing teachers want to do is set up our classrooms in ways that separate the “haves” from the “have-nots.” This problem may be avoided if the school provides a device to a student-in-need, maybe on through some kind of school-year lease arrangement.

In our school, we only have a technology person at our school Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, so, if we are having issues, we won’t be able to ask the technology person. Maybe someone else in the school would have the answer, but that is hard because most of the teachers are teaching and will not be able to leave their classrooms. As for me, I am a Mac person and have used a Mac, so if a student has a different computer, I wouldn’t be confident on how to help them without more training. The same thing goes for the smart phone. I use a Samsung phone, so if a student uses an iPhone or different one, I won’t know how to help them. But, still, I can see where BYOD may run smoothly if everyone is on board and helping each other out. Most likely, someone in your class will know how to use that device if you are not sure.

From reading other people’s blogs, it seems I’m not the only one who feels divided on this issue. Other students agree that, if this technology is brought into the school, teachers will need more training. We also tweeted about BYOD in our Twitter chat. I found out that most of us have not used BYOD in our schools. I think we were split on how people felt on opening this to all grades. Many of us have concerns. We also talked about the possibility of students and parents signing an agreement on their use of technology in the classroom, agreeing that if it is not used properly, it will be taken away. It would be similar to what they sign already to use computers at school. School officials have the right to block access if a student misuses the school’s electronic access. I think the same thing should go for their devices. It they misuse them, they no longer can use them in school.

I think there are pros and cons to this, but, with a well thought-out plan and buy-in from the teachers, parents, and students, maybe it could work. Jessica pointed out that Anchorage School District has started this, and four schools participated in it last year. I would love to hear from parents, students, and teachers on what went well and what didn’t before we start it in our school. I think if I see that it went well, then I will more likely agree that it should be implemented in schools. If it didn’t go well and our school is up next to implement it, then we can make sure that problems the other schools have had don’t happen at our school and, hopefully, make the program run better for us.

Week 9 Emerging Technology

Week 9: Emerging Technology: Does Every School Need A “BYOD” Policy?

BYOD, or “bring your own device,” refers to students bringing their own technology tools to school. This can be an iPhone, iPad, tablet, computer, or other mobile device. I can see positive effects and negative effects of allowing BYOD. The negative effects can be headed off by planning carefully ahead of time.

Wikipedia states that about 75% of employees in markets such as Brazil and Russia are already using their personal technology at work. In the Middle East, it’s about 80%. Some positive effects are that these devices help employees increase their productivity; an IBM study shows that BYOD increases satisfaction and productivity and saves the company money.

Some negative results have resulted in the form of data breaches, e.g., when an employee loses a phone with secured data or leaves the company. Also there are often problems connecting personal devices to school or company networks.

In an effort to bring 21st century technology into the classroom, some schools are allowing students to bring their own technology (ipad, computer, tablet, smart phone, etc.) to use in the classroom (Walsh, 2012). I think this would be good for some schools that implement the program correctly. One example is in Ohio where, in the Oak Hills School District, they set up a strict user policy before they got started and saved the district $1.27 million (Walsh, 2012). I thought the steps they followed were pretty well thought out:

Step 1: Community Engagement: This is a series of meetings with all involved—parents, teachers, administrators, students, community business leaders, and board members.

Step 2: Develop A Team: Their responsibilities include learning new technologies and helping others to learn new technologies.

Step 3: Install the Physical Infrastructure: This is a wireless and secure infrastructure, which is vital to a successful BYOD program.

Step 4: Develop the Tools (Software Infrastructure) (Key!): This is one of the most important things to address because of the software tools that can be utilized by all students on any device. This requires defining a standard set of private and public cloud apps that are “device-agnostic.”

Step 5: Develop a Portal: It is important to create a central location that collects those resources. The idea is to have a one-stop shop for students, staff, and parents.

Step 6:  Develop an Acceptable Use Policy: Another element in a successful BYOD initiative, by which users agree to abide by certain rules.

Step 7: Build Your Curriculum: A “Companion Site for All Courses” works as a centralized clearinghouse for how technology works with all subjects.

Step 8: Choose Supported Devices: The goal is to support as many devices as possible, but basic technical requirements must be met.

Step 9: Monitor Usage: Monitoring usage of network resources, content pages, and apps can provide excellent feedback.

Step 10: Q&A: A small set of questions and answers close out these resources. (Walsh, 2012)

One thing that I see as a problem is the effects of BYOD on students who don’t have their own computers, iPads, or smart phones. Many students, especially in my school, are from low-income families. Lacey (2014) said 20% of students receive free or reduced lunch. The district uses Title 1 Funds to purchase devices for these students. Also, many do not have Internet at home, so the district provides low-cost Internet to these families. I think if we could equip all low-income students who can’t afford a device or Internet, that would be good. Otherwise, the students and parents will be stressing over not having a device or Internet and not being able to afford any.

New technology is expensive, so, especially with the budget cuts that many districts are taking, I think BYOD is a good step. Most of the students already own the latest phone or computer. A liberal BYOD policy could save the district thousands of dollars. Tossing teachers into a BYOD environment without any training wouldn’t be effective, though (Chadband, 2012).

I think, with the proper training and equipment for all, BYOD can work. Teachers would need to be trained on other equipment that they think students will use in the classroom. Myself, I am a Mac person and only have used Mac. I think it would be difficult for me to help students when I don’t know how to use the device. When I was learning how to play Minecraft, I went to my Cousin’s place, where the kids knew how and were trying to show me. When I gave them my computer, they didn’t know what keys to push because it was a Mac. Once they got their iPad, they were off, so I can see this as a problem. If there were enough help and all students were able to afford the latest technology, then it would be great. The steps listed above need to be taken for it to work.

References

Bring your own device. (2015). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:26, July 13, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bring_your_own_device&oldid=670168691

Chadband, E. (2012, July 19). Should Schools Embrace “Bring Your Own Device”? – NEA Today. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://neatoday.org/2012/07/19/should-schools-embrace-bring-your-own-device/

Lacey, K. (2014). BYOD success stories. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.districtadministration.com/article/byod-success-stories

Walsh, K. (2012). BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Can Work Well When Approached Properly. Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/12/making-byod-work-in-schools/

Week 8 Reflection: Emerging Technology

Week 8 Reflection: Emerging Technology

This week in our Emerging Technology class we were reading about Minecraft and what game we could create that would help students to learn. I really enjoyed this blog because I took a class on it last semester. I think you can do so much with Minecraft in any classroom. One article I read said that it can be faster than any traditional method because students are more motivated and get more practice.

My game would be something like the Givercraft Unit that we did in our last class. Students would read a book and then go into Minecraft and create buildings that we read about. Students can create a map or scavenger hunt with clues. They can create real life buildings that we read about. I was thinking a good unit would be one on the “Two Old Women” book. The students can learn about survival skills though survival mode. They would have to go in and make a house and get food and then compare that to what they were reading in “Two Old Women.” I think there is so much that students can do using Minecraft in a classroom.

Reading other people’s blogs, I think most of us are fairly new to Minecraft. I first heard of Minecraft about two years ago. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that kids wanted to play it. They would come in at lunch time just to play this game. It wasn’t until this last semester’s class that I actually started to play Minecraft. I have seen students of all ages attracted to this game. When I first started to play, I went to my cousin’s place to see my niece and nephew so they could help me figure out how to play. They were 6 and 8 when they first started to teach me. They learned before that and were good at it. They thought it was funny that I didn’t know how to play. I finally learned how to move around and learned some basic skills.

I would love to use Minecraft in my classroom. I think that the students would be engaged and really enjoy this supplement to the classroom. I just need to find out how to get it started in my classroom. I know that I don’t know everything about Minecraft, but I am sure that the students will know more than me and they can teach me and other students about it.  It will be a great learning experience for us all. Through trial and error, I would figure out the best way to use this in my classroom. I know, though, I would like to at least try it and see how engaged the students are using it. That is what I want to see—my students excited and engaged in what they are learning about.

Week 8 Emerging Technology

Week 8 Emerging Technology: What Minecraft Game Could You Create That Would Help Students Learn?

I think that you can do so much with Minecraft to help students learn. The article “Minecraft in Education” points out that Minecraft can have huge educational benefits for children; it can teach numerous subjects with and without adult involvement. It can be faster than traditional methods because students are more motivated and get more practice. They can learn math, writing, and reading from Minecraft. There are limitless activities that you can do with Minecraft to help students learn. I describe a few of these below. I then report on the results of an interview I conducted with my nephew about Minecraft.

If I were to create a lesson from Minecraft I would use the example from The Giver lesson plan. Our students can read Two Old Women and I can apply the same lessons that they did in The GiverCraft. Students can work together to create the best shelter. They can do math with it by counting how many blocks they have to use. They can practice writing by putting down the thoughts that the two old ladies were having when they were left behind. I could have kids create a map or scavenger hunt. They could compete with each other to see who can find the most treasures that were hidden. It can also help with social skills. Kids can communicate with each other in Minecraft. The article also explains how they can work together to build, explore, and learn as they develop social skills, especially teamwork.

As a geography teacher, I can have students create real life buildings in Minecraft. Many already-created structures can be imported into the game so students can explore them (Miller, 2012). They then can learn more about that structure and create a presentation on it.  Students can also learn about survival when you put the game in survival mode. I think this would go great with a unit on Two Old Women. Students would have to go in and get wood to make planks to create a house to survive in. Once it gets dark, the monsters come out and they can kill you. Students would also have to learn how to make tools and to get food. They would learn about the basics of survival and what it takes to stay alive.

I also found a neat unit on hunter/gatherers that would relate to my unit of Two Old women.  So the kids would be looking at tools. First they would have a picture of an old tool that was used long ago, next they would get a tool that they used in their Minecraft world and talk about how it connects to their world today. See example from http://minecraft-biddle.blogspot.com.

I interviewed my nephew, who is 6 years old.

Question 1: Where did you learn to play Minecraft? Who taught you to play?

I learned how to play it on iPhone, iPad and then Kindle. No one. I taught myself how to play. 

Question 2: What do you like best about Minecraft? I like making volcanoes.

Question 3: Was it hard to learn how to play? No

Question 4: What was the hardest thing you learned on Minecraft? Making a castle.

Question 5: Being a new Minecraft learner, what are some things that you think I should know about Minecraft before getting started. How to move.

Question 7: Do you still p  lay Minecraft? Yes

So when I first was introduced to Minecraft I went to my cousin’s place, since my niece and nephew knew of this game. I had the game on my computer. I asked them to help me out. They never played on a computer so the controls were hard for them. When I tried to play on their Kindle, I didn’t know the controls either. I asked my nephew if I could play on his iPad. I didn’t know the controls and he was not a patient teacher. He said let me show you and I watched how easily he moved around. I told him I was very impressed with him and hoped one day I can play as good as him.

References

Digging for Truth – Minecraft Blog. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://minecraft-biddle.blogspot.com

Minecraft In Education. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_in_education

Miller, A. (2012). Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom. Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-miller

Unit Plan. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.givercraft.com/unit-plan.html

week 7 reflection: Emerging Technology

Week 7 Reflection: Emerging Technology

This week we have read about how 3D technology can change the way we think about education. Just from my readings this week I know that 3D printing will change the way we think about education. A 3D printer will instantly change your classroom into an active learning environment. I can see many benefits from a 3D printer in a classroom and how it will actively engage students.

For my class, we can print out maps, landforms, famous buildings, and many other things that relate to social studies. Students can learn about famous people or land features from social studies and 3D print the results before doing a report on the person or place. I believe there are endless possibilities for projects that a 3D printer can do in your classroom. I think that this will engage those students who need to touch and feel things to learn.

I learned from Margaret’s blog that future predictions state that 3D printing will make life barely recognizable in 50 to 70 years. 3D printing is making such a huge impact on everything now that I know this will happen. Becca made a point that they are even 3D printing food! To me I just can’t imagine that, much less want to eat it. John made a good point that it would be good technology to have in a MakerSpace. If they needed a part, they can just print it out. How cool would that be? Rachel made a good point—that teachers can on a 3D printer many of the things we now draw on a board.

In our Twitter session, which Mandi and I hosted tonight, I can see that everyone is for 3D printers. They see mostly good from getting a 3D printer. The only cons related to the current high cost. Another thing is most people think that this will became the norm for classrooms and society. In the near future, when prices go down, I believe there will be a 3D printer in every classroom like there is a regular printer in about every classroom. The other only thing I see as a con is the amount of time that is takes to print. In one video I saw on someone’s blog, it said the student watched for about 30 minutes as his creation came to life. I am thinking well this would be a problem if students are all wanting to print and only can print one at a time. Another thing is our class times are no longer than 65 minutes. Will two students be able to print in that time? This is something to think about. I think, though, as the technology gets better each year, that printing time will also came down. I am excited for that day when we get a 3D printer and when I see the excitement on the students’ faces as their creations are forming. I know I will be just as excited. I look forward to that day because I will be ready for that technology and ready to share it with my students.